I recently shared our news and a project I’ve been working on for some time. It’s a very personal project to show, not just because of the struggles with infertility and everything that goes into it. And I chose to share it publicly…with everyone, as a way to just show others what it’s like to go through something like this, but mostly to speak for those that DO know what it’s like yet haven’t shared their story just yet. Infertility is not a subject that should be hushed, and I’ll not hesitate to speak about it. It’s real, it’s extremely tough, and alot of times it doesn’t seem fruitful. WHAT IS FRUITFUL…. is sharing your story and helping others along the way. That’s what He calls us to do. I received so much overwhelming love, prayers, and feedback that I was blown away and still get emotional thinking about it.
As a result of several comments I received, I wanted to go into the project in a little more in detail to explain my viewpoint behind it all, what I was experiencing, and the moments of ups and downs as they go. Consider it a behind the scenes…. tears, humor and weird moments. To see the project in its entirety, it’s up on my personal facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10100283155207295&id=80400746
Our story began years before we started IVF, but this is where I started documenting things…. When you first think of IVF, you think of tons of shots and medications. That presumption is 115% accurate. Injections and meds were my life from January til recently. Not only do you have shots and meds, but you’re on a timed schedule with each one. You may as well forget your social events in the evening, unless you plan to bring a few syringes and haul all your medication. So shots, shots and more shots….
Next step was surgery, to clean things up and retrieve as many eggs as you can. This is the moment we have been prepping for, so carefully with the injections. And of course, with surgery comes recuperating time.
This wasn’t a super strenuous surgery, but it does require some down time. And on top of this, you’re restricted from any form of working out before and after the surgery until you’re minimum 4 weeks after embryo transfer or until you miscarry. THIS IS A LONG TIME, so there were several hours of lying around, resting and trying to prep my body to be the best home for little ones.
Finally, you make it to transfer day; you’ve been waiting on this day for awhile. Your body and ovaries have been pumped full of medications. You’ve been praying over this day since the beginning. On retrieval day, we successfully retrieved 15 eggs, 13 fertilized and looked fantastic days 1-3. Day 3-5 the doctors let the little embryos incubate and do not open to look at them again until Day 5. So you pray those sweet 13 make it til Day 5. If you don’t receive a call on Day 5, you go in for your procedure…..that’s not what happened for us. We received a call about two hours before the procedure. The embryos looked so poor they wouldn’t even give them a grade. This was the aftermath of that phone call and the most painful moments for me and I’m sure Jason…. All this work to what seems to be nothing. Your world rocked and your hopes shattered.
When a doctor asks you what you want to do after you’ve gotten this far, let’s say your emotions are all over the place, and there was only one thing to do….you pray. I mean, you get a little ticked off too…I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t so mad at the situation. HOW CAN I GO THROUGH ALL THIS AND WE CAN’T GO ANY FURTHER?? So, you pray and pray and tell them you don’t care if they’re “below poor,” but you’re doing that transfer today. So they asked us to wait in town for a few hours and they would pick the best two out of the bunch and “Hope for the best,” (their words, not mine..not exactly what you want to hear from your specialist the day of a transfer). So you pray some more, you wait, you cry (alot) and you send texts to loved ones asking for more prayers.
After the transfer, which doesn’t seem incredibly hopeful at the time, you do everything humanly possible to insure your treating your body like a temple, you’re keeping your feet warm (IVF tip), and eating pineapple & its core (another tip), and you rest ALOT, You’re hopefully growing a little one in there and that’s all you can do. And pray. Oh, and continue taking your meds and shots. Just because you transferred two embryos, does not mean the meds stop there…
And more shots….
This may be one of my favorite photos from the project, because it accurately depicts my emotions and thoughts at this moment, while Jason just continues marching on. If you think it’s easy to give your spouse an injection – you’re wrong, if you think it’s easy to let your spouse give you an injection – you’re really wrong. If Jason were to mess up and hit a vein, I would get annoyed and have to be re-stuck with a needle one or two more times. And then Jason would get annoyed with me, because he’s literally doing the best he can and hitting a vein just happens sometimes. Sometimes you bleed or injecting in a sore spot and there really isn’t anything either of us can do about it. It doesn’t make for the best intimate moments with your spouse. Ha. SO, this is my face after an argument about who’s doing the injection right. He’s patiently trying to stick me and I’m sarcastically waiting. Humorous now…..kinda.
Then you wait…and wait. You want to take 1,000 pregnancy tests but there isn’t a point. Over the years I’ve had false positive tests and false negative tests, so I decided no pregnancy tests were going to be taken, except for the ones the doctor performs. This was difficult, waiting and trusting…but we did it. Next, you test with the doctor and your numbers kinda suck…. and you’re back on that emotional roller coaster that you had hoped to have gotten off and never gotten back in line again. But you do.
And you wait some more…. then, you start to feel a pain here or a sensation there and you think, “Oh maybe this is a viable pregnancy?” And it hits you, like a 145 lb Great Dane running full force at you and knocking the wind out of you (trust me, I’ve been there) ….you get your first spout of morning sickness. Little did I know that “morning sickness” has nothing to do with the morning, it was a pure all day sickness. During this entire time, I’m still working of course. Because I mean you’re paying for IVF, and working is a requirement just to get by. When I had morning sickness in the past, I’d be cozied up in the comfort of my home, but that’s not the case this time. My first morning sickness spout we had just finished up a wedding in Maine. The wedding was beautiful, the couple was beyond amazing and the following day, while we’re waiting in the airport, all the morning sickness for the entire day hits. Flight delays happen, sleeping on the floor occurs, and more sickness…everywhere. One of the last places I want to experience all day sickness is in a public place, let alone an airport where nothing seems to help. But you deal, because THIS IS A GOOD SIGN!
You semi hope the sickness stops, but you also pray it doesn’t because morning sickness is a fantastic sign of high levels of hormones for a healthy pregnancy. So I prayed for that morning sickness, no matter how miserable it made me…I wanted it. And God provided.
Finally, you’re to a “safe” point in the pregnancy and you’re so excited but don’t want to tell anyone. You ask your parents and a few, close friends to keep quiet and continue to pray. You see, we’ve been here before and I wasn’t interested in announcing yet ANOTHER pregnancy and weeks later telling everyone that we lost the little one. It’s heartbreaking and it’s such an awkward conversation to have to explain to people. And then you get the “ahhs” of pity, that completely mean well, but deep down it ticks you off because you weren’t able to do the one thing you are made to do, keep that baby alive. So this time, I chose to just kept quiet, but secretly we rejoiced (cautiously).
I wish I could confidently say this will be an incredible pregnancy and we will finally get to hold our healthy, breathing little one in November. I’m praying every day that we get this opportunity….but we don’t know right now. We optimistically wait for the next doctor appointment and continue to wait one more day for our sweet little one to arrive.
Our story and my project doesn’t stop here…it will continue. For now, I look back and am thankful for the journey, thankful for the sarcastic remarks to each other, the arguments, the pain, the tears and the spurts of joy. And we wait to see what comes next!
Feel free to read past blog posts and catch up on our entire journey this year.